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Sterling Johnson William Minor's THE INHERITED HEART: AN AMERICAN MEMOIR takes a candid look at one man's individual journey through nearly eight decades of life. Using historical documents, ancestral correspondence, and numerous photographs, it also draws upon his family's collective journey through 400 years of United States history.

The Inherited Heart goes beyond autobiography or history. Like life itself, it's serious, raucous, reflective, dramatic, and often hilarious.

Minor's background is as impressive as it is eclectic: professional jazz musician from the age of seventeen; amateur boxer, artist, poet, novelist, college teacher, and chronicler of jazz on three continents

In the opening paragraph of his preface, he lays out his goal:

"When I was seventeen years old I was, aside from St Paul, the most serious human being ever to walk the face of the earth. When I was seven years old, I was a precocious clown, entertaining my family at dinner with imitations of Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny and material I stole from Milton Berle's Joke Book. I am now of somewhat advanced age and attempting to reconcile not only these two discordant elements in my life--solemnity and playfulness--but others as well."

Writing in an engaging, highly readable style--one that's always informed by warmth, humor, and intelligence--Minor succeeds admirably. The Inherited Heart comes from an open heart, and it tells not only a great American story but a great human story as well.

Sterling Johnson

Gpenley512 "The Inherited Heart" is a great read -
Much more than a family memoir, it is the picture of an inheritance, coming
through the American experience - a picture of a unique family, an ancestry
with ties to the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, John Trowbridge -
wars and good times - down to ' Uncle Ferg ' - ' Precious Lanny (brother ' -
a revered mother and a head-shaker of a father who philosophized,
witted, and did a little soft-shoe in front of the fireplace on family musical
evenings - a father who kept the ancestry and inheritance of the family
alive and well for young William.
The monumental prose that W Minor brings to this book is sculpted with
tenderness, awareness and sensitivity - with a back-ground of bemused,
and often laugh-out-loud humor.
It comes through as a grateful story of love and life through the American
experience George Penley

William Minor Wwcorrigan1999:
The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir
by William Minor (Goodreads Author)

Minor's bloodline, Minor's genes but very much an American Family story. He relates generations of love, triumphs and warmth. As in most families, the warts, scrapes, heartbreak, and skeletons are in full view, too. An engrossing read.

message 2: by David

David The Inherited Heart, An American Memoir

This book gives the colorful past of Bill Minor. It was great to read. My question is how he escaped the traditions of his family. What does it take to find your own way in spite of your surroundings? Do you march to the beat of a different drummer? What keeps you from turning back when you encounter the fear of following a different path than others?

I was intrigued by the contrasts in his experiences and the experiences of his brother. I have not finished the book yet but many questions pop up.


Bobdanziger "Unzipped Souls: A Jazz Journey Through the Soviet Union
by William Minor" is one of my favorite music books of all time. And one of my favorite travel books of all time. And one of my favorite social and political history books of all time. Bill and his wife Betty's travelled through the Soviet Union during a period of profound change, and historic unknowns. Bill somehow records through the lens of jazz these upheavals, hopes and dreams, and does so differently than any other history, because sound emphasizes different. It was a page turner that insights would explode from in the late nights reflections, something this book has in common with most of Bill's works.

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